The decision handed down by the single Judge was like reading a dog’s breakfast (and the evidence given by that Storm CEO bloke was garbage). However, Jack had his opportunity to appeal to the full bench and he didn’t.
NRL should pay Jack de Belin’s wage, says Dragons sponsor
By Danny WeidlerJune 6, 2021 — 5.00am
Dragons jersey sponsor Norm Black has called on the NRL to give clubs financial relief and pay banned players directly if they are sidelined under the game’s controversial no-fault stand-down policy.
Black also wants the NRL to reimburse the Dragons for at least some of Jack de Belin’s salary while he was out and says that payments to banned players should not impact on a club’s salary cap from the moment a player is stood down.
Long-awaited return: Jack de Belin leaves the field at Kogarah on Thursday night. Dragons sponsor Norm Black says the NRL should repay the club for at least some of de Belin’s wages while he was stood down. Credit:Getty
“At the very least you would expect a reimbursement to the club from the NRL as a goodwill gesture and to set up a pathway for how they deal with the rule in the future without handicapping the clubs,” Black said.
The NSW Director of Public Prosecutions dropped sexual assault charges against de Belin on May 27, bringing to an end a two-year legal battle.
Speaking after de Belin returned to the NRL on Thursday night at Jubilee Oval, Black hit out at the game’s leaders.
“The rule needs a total rethink from the powerbrokers and I think I can speak with some authority as someone who sponsors clubs,” Black, the founder and managing director of TripADeal, and sponsor of St George Illawarra and Manly, said.
He said the NRL had effectively punished de Belin three times.
An emotional Jack de Belin celebrates his comeback with family.Credit:Getty Images
“The first thing I want to say is that a lot of people have been hurt through this and we can’t forget that,” Black said. “I don’t want to appear heartless when I make this into a matter purely about football, but that’s where I am coming from. The club had to spend a seven-figure amount to keep Jack paid and that’s not fair – especially in this case as there was no rule when his issue arose and then it was brought in.
“That is not fair on the club. They are paying a player to sit around. It’s the NRL’s rule, let them cover the cost. The club is then penalised again by having to put the player in the salary cap. I’m aware the club eventually got partial salary cap dispensation, [but] that only meant the club had to find more money to play another player on top of Jack’s wage. This just adds to the financial punishment. That’s the second punishment and it’s a double hit because you can’t spend that money on another player when you have lost your player.
“In Jack’s case, we lost a genuine star – arguably our best player. As soon as a player is in the situation Jack was he should be off the cap. It was a devastating blow football-wise.
“And the third punishment is to the team and fans for not having a player to play with and cheer for. Having seen what it did to the Dragons club – I’m only speaking on football terms – and to bosses at the club and to the coach of the team, the system as it is now is wrong and unfair on the club, players who lose their teammate and their fans. It has to change. As it is there is a presumption of guilt, not innocence, and that’s wrong.“
The Dragons got full salary cap relief on de Belin’s vastly reduced contract from November until May.
Black also said he had no reason to defend his decision to be de Belin’s personal game sponsor.
“The club needed someone to be Jack’s game-day sponsor and they asked me,” he said. “I don’t see why I would not do it. When they came to me I had no hesitation at all. He is part of the team and should be viewed no differently to any other player taking the field. He has been through a rigorous court process and from now on should only be judged on his performance on the field. That’s my strong belief.”
Norm Black has called on the NRL to pay banned players directly if they are sidelined under the game’s controversial no-fault stand-down policy.www.smh.com.au
Time to move on.
It will be interesting to see if Jack returns to his best. I hope he does and my gut is telling me he will.